Do you think the trend of extending the term of copyrights should or will continue?

Asked on by alliels

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is hard to say what will happen, and there are different opinions on what should happen.

From the point of view of some people, it is important to keep on extending the terms of copyrights.  This is because they feel that it is important to allow authors to benefit from their work for longer periods of time.  If we do not have long copyright terms, the idea goes, people will not have much of an incentive to innovate.  They will not gain from their works for as long and so will not be as eager to create new works.  This attitude is particularly held among people like those in the music and film industries.

From other people’s points of view, however, it is better to limit the terms of copyrights.  Long copyrights, they argue, reduce innovation and simply encourage rent-seeking.  They prevent other people from building on innovations to make their own new works.  This sort of attitude is particularly prevalent in the technology sector. 

As is so often the case, it is likely that whichever side has more political clout will win.  This is exceedingly difficult to determine which side this will be as both sides are well-financed and generally well-connected.

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